Global Nose Warming

| Fri Aug. 18, 2000 2:00 AM EDT

As if the melting of the polar ice caps, croplands turning into deserts and worldwide droughts weren't enough to worry about, there's apparently another calamity coming thanks to global warming: a tsunami of sneezing.

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According to new research from the US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, higher carbon dioxide levels linked to the earth's rising temperature may have doubled the amount of ragweed pollen in the atmosphere. That's bad news for the 15 to 20 percent of the population that suffers from hay fever, the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE points out: ragweed is the allergy's major trigger at this time of year.